Simple Summer Lasagna

A simple summer lasagna recipe using no boil noodles and a no-cook sauce. Easy, delicious and vegetarian bursting with fresh summer vegetables.

Simple summer lasagna

Every Sunday as kids we went to my grandparents’ house for some sort of pasta based meal. Usually, it was the normal macaroni and meatballs but sometimes we lucked out, Grandma got ambitious and we had lasagna. I’m not sure why lasagna seemed so much fancier and like a treat compared to the usual pasta, but it did.

We’d get there right after church, immediately run out of the car and down to the dog kennels for me and over to the horses for my brother. In the summer, we’d be in their in ground pool as fast as we could change into our bathing suits and be greeted with a Nestle crunch bar ice cream pop as soon as we emerged all wrinkled. In the winter, we’d play in my grandpa’s den, jumping on his exercise trampoline and staring at the swords and deer heads mounted on the wall. Between 12 and 2 Grandma would be at the stove making the sauce and asking people if it tasted “aspy” (a phrase I never understood until I finally learned it was some sort of Italian slang). We’d sit down around 3pm, say grace and dig in. Grandpa sat at the head of the table always in his blue velour jumpsuit telling some outlandish story involving many instances of the phrase “that son of a bitch!”. Think of The Sopranos, minus the mob part and maybe toned down by about 25% or so. Clean up involved men on the couch watching sports, women in the kitchen and me whining how it wasn’t fair. I still stand by that. It was the late 80s, early 90s, not 1920.

Summer lasagna

Many things have changed since then. I haven’t stepped foot in a church on a Sunday in years, my grandparents got divorced after 45+ years of marriage and I wouldn’t eat a Nestle crunch bar if you paid me. But when I see or think of lasagna, I’m instantly connected to those Sunday memories.

Foodbuzz gave me the chance to test out the new Glad Freezerware through the tastemakers program. When it came to the house and I saw the packaging had a picture of lasagna on it, I knew I wanted to create my own Sunday memory. A tribute to old memories with an easy,  fresh and summery spin.

I used zucchini and kale to stuff it with, lasagna noodles that don’t need boiling and sauce that doesn’t need cooking. I think I’d give my Grandpa a heart attack just telling him that. It’s definitely not the typical meat, sauce and cheese heavy dish he’s used to, but I stand by it.

Summer lasagna

It might not be similar to regular lasagna in taste, but leftovers freezes great just like the “real” thing. The GLAD FreezerWare resists cracking and is designed to be heated directly from the freezer which is nice because I’ve definitely ruined other containers being lazy like that that way.

Leftovers were always the one bright part about having to leave Sunday dinners, make the hour trek back home and get ready for school the next day. 20 years later, family dinners have become a rare occurrence, school has become work, but at least I don’t have to fight my brother for the leftovers.

Yield: 6 servings

Simple Summer Lasagna

Simple Summer Lasagna

A simple summer lasagna recipe using no boil noodles and a no-cook sauce. Easy, delicious and vegetarian bursting with fresh summer vegetables.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 8 ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 10 leaves of basil + 1/4 cup chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk ricotta
  • 11/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 large zucchini, sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • 1/2 head of kale, stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • 4.5 oz (half a package) no boil lasagna noodles


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, combine tomatoes, garlic, 10 leaves of basil and a generous amount of salt & pepper. Process until pureed, taste for seasoning and set aside.
  3. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, saute shallot with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil until softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, red pepper flakes, remaining olive oil, sauted shallots and salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Begin layering lasagna. First, coat bottom of the baking dish with a bit of the tomato sauce. Next layer noodles, overlapping slightly. Spread more tomato sauce on top of that. Drop dollops of the ricotta mixture on top of sauce and then layer 1/2 the zucchini, kale and basil.
  6. Repeat that layer once more and then top with last layer of noodles, sauce and remaining ricotta.
  7. Bake loosely covered with tin foil for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove foil and continue baking for another 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.
  10. Garnish with additional basil.


  1. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers

    I love your story! Sounds like so much fun going to Grandma’s. I love your lasagna recipe. It sounds light and looks beautiful. I haven’t had lasagna in a while, thank you for the recipe. I think I’m going to put lasagna on the menu this week. Have a wonderful Sunday!

  2. Gina C. @ At Home with Gina C.

    I am always on the lookout for pasta dishes that aren’t so heavy and tomatoey. I’m definitely going to try this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Alexis

    This looks divine. I am a bit of a pasta nut, especially since giving up meat. I’ve actually never made a true lasagna but this looks like a great starter approach, especially with no boil noodles. I am not even sure I knew those existed. Thanks, as always, for the great inspiration!

  4. Kelly @ My Love Affair with Running

    I love how eating certain foods is so nostalgic! A certain aroma can take you back to your childhood and a certain ingredient can remind you of a loved one now lost. This lasagne looks delicious and perfect for a hearty winters dinner. Thanks for the post :)

  5. Katie

    I’ve had lasagna on my mind lately but for some reason it didn’t feel like something I could make in this warmer weather. Now you’ve inspired me to make some! I love the idea of the no-cook sauce. I made fresh pasta over the weekend and I’ve got some dough leftover in the freezer, so it’ll be a breeze to roll out some lasagna noodles and make a quick, fresh, summer lasagna like this. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Debra Terrell

    They got divorced after living together for 45 years!!!

    This is really amazing!

    Loved this post, I also have few tastes in my mouth that my Granny used to make and no matter the great eatery it is, really difficult to get that taste back!

  7. Corrie Anne

    Oooh! We love those simple types of lasagna. Looks amazing. I didn’t have good luck last time I used kale in mine though so I better take a little break for my husband to forgive me!! Lol.

  8. Running to the Kitchen Post author

    That lasagna looks so good! I also tried the glad tupperwear and its awesome!

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